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Cruxing Out 

Don't waffle on last minute beer gifts—choose Crux's new barrel-aged brews

On Saturday, Crux Fermentation Project released three beautifully packaged, experimental bottled beers: Freakcake Barrel-Aged Oud Bruin Ale, Banished Doublecross Dark Belgian Ale and Half Hitch Imperial Mosaic IPA. And, bonus!, the Bend brewery re-released Tough Love Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout.

All are impressive, and available locally (look for them in 375-milliliter, wax-sealed bottles), but the lightly sour Flemish-style brown Freakcake (10.5%) and its much bolder and richer Belgian cousin, the Doublecross (12%), are absolutely outstanding. These are the beers Bend should be striving for—complex, balanced and just a little out there.

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